Woman jailed for promoting prostitution
A district judge has ordered a Rochester woman to serve time in jail followed by probation for promoting prostitution.
Julie Bierman, 46, pleaded guilty to the felony charge on May 18 and was sentenced Monday.
Her attorney, Bill Wright, urged Olmsted District Judge Debra Jacobson to not impose jail time, saying Bierman has made great strides to deal with a long-standing alcohol abuse problem.
Since she was charged earlier this year, Bierman has completed an inpatient treatment program and a halfway house program and now lives at a sober house, Wright said.
"Julie may not have a good reputation, but she has made great strides to build a sober life,'' Wright said.
Prosecutor Julie Germann asked the judge to sentence Bierman to jail for 90 days.
"She has a long history in criminal activity,'' Germann said. "She has nearly 20 years of criminal activity," including drugs and prostitution. "She was using her niece for prostitution'' in this case.
Germann also asked the judge to impose consecutive 60-day jail sentences on two other felony cases in which Bierman admitted violations.
Bierman was one of three women charged following a police sting operation in February. Bierman is the only one charged with a felony. The depatment's Street Crime Unit did the undercover operation after a resident reported that prostitution services were being offered through two Web sites — Craigslist and Backpage.com.
Jacobson commended Bierman for dealing with her alcohol abuse but said punishment is warranted. She ordered her to serve 90 days in jail with work-release privileges. Bierman will be on probation for 15 years and must pay $485 or do 40 hours community work service. The judge did not impose consecutive jail sentences on the violations.